I is da Cheech Wizard, and other Bodes

 Vaughn Bode

It’s no wonder that one of the greatest Underground Comic artists to ever grace the world, would be able to give us a peek inside such a rich world of silliness, derogatory humor, human satire, and of course…broads! This world I speak was concocted by Vaughn Bode.

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Bode has inspired many other artists in his wake. Mainly in his son Mark, whose style is heavily influenced by the cartoonish, almost seedy, and downright lovable works of his father. Although he has had his hand in lots of comics and other artistic expression; Mark has mostly found a niche in the world of tattoos and “one shots” in the art crowd. An example:

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Other than his son, Vaughn inspired another huge demographic, (Mark also helped with this) graffiti artists. As well as a few companies. More examples:

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Cheech wizard is most assuredly Vaughn’s most well-known work, however he also had his hand in antiwar art and comic strips, cheeky erotica, and general haberdashery. More examples:

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Some of the strips are very heavy and they justify the delving that Bode’s work deserves. In “The Man” we are presented with a Neanderthal that is extremely isolated and vulnerable. Even with his nearly monosyllabic narration, we understand that the caveman is slowly beginning to understand; what is happening around him. In the Junkwaffle comics we see the depravity of war; as a man loses everything he loves, and then his life. The soul is represented as butterflies and has a haunting, surreal beauty that was understood by the audience of the time, and scoffed at by the foolish rabble of cogs turning the proverbial machines.

With such fantastic depth and truly evocative presentation how could anyone not appreciate the work of such a master of his craft. Unyielding; yet experimental, goofy yet provocative, and of course an ability to demonstrate true vision through a deceptively “cartoonish” exterior. Vaughn Bode captured this reader’s heart from a young age through Cheech Wizard thanks to National Lampoon’s Magazine and has continued to be a prevalent Icon in my progressing collective of artistic understanding.

Bonus:

Vaughn Bode was hired to do the illustrations for simplified editions of classic tales. So look up some of those hard to find books and if you have decent pictures of the artwork please message me or post them and get them circulating!

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